Skip to main content

Course Design Institutes

Course Design Institute on Inclusive Teaching

We invite you to join in our Course Design Institute on the theme of Inclusive Teaching.  This virtual event will take place via Brightspace and Zoom, May 16 – 19 (9am-4pm Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and 9-12:30pm Thursday). During the four-day institute, participants will (re)design courses with careful attention to the ways they can help all students thrive through greater belonging and engagement.  In the institute we will explore a variety of facets of inclusive teaching, especially…

  • Motivating and challenging all students, regardless of their identity or background
  • Engaging a diverse range of voices and perspectives for dynamic and critical dialogue
  • Helping all students better understand – and cooperate across – differences
  • Developing trusting and productive dialogues about difficult subjects
  • Providing accessible and supportive assignments and activities
  • Closing performance and persistence gaps across the curriculum
  • Ensuring all students are meaningfully involved in their own learning and experience intellectual, social, and emotional growth

Throughout the Institute’s events, participants will…

  • Learn strategies for designing courses in which learning objectives, activities, and assessments foster inclusion and equity
  • Work collaboratively in a mix of small- and large-group sessions to refine and apply these strategies to diverse teaching contexts
  • Expand a peer network of Vanderbilt educators dedicated to inclusion and equity
  • Develop a (re)designed syllabus and course plans for the coming semesters

If you are interested in attending the Course Design Institute on Inclusive Teaching, please register here.  If you have further questions, please contact the CFT’s Joe Bandy at or Stacey Johnson at





No Online Course Design Institutes are currently scheduled.
Check back here for information about our upcoming institutes.

Online Course Design Institutes

These one-week hands-on Online Course Development Institutes (OCDI) typically take place during the spring. During the institute, participants are guided through a systematic step-wise approach to designing an online course and facilitating synchronous and asynchronous interactions.  Participants will be equipped to make design decisions that support student engagement, meaningful learning and assessments, and equity and inclusivity. This institute benefits instructors seeking to design or redesign an online course, particularly those teaching in the Summer.

During the institute, participants will:

  • Learn about the basic principles and considerations for converting a face to face course to an online course
  • Appreciate the value and importance of creating equitable and inclusive learning experiences that account for student motivation
  • Become aware of  the power instructors have in proactively providing the structure (design) and leadership (facilitation/direction) to foster inclusive and meaningful learning in an online environment
  • Develop a course plan for their upcoming online course that integrates learning objectives with assessments and both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities
  • Learn about the affordances of online teaching tools, identify tools that align with their goals, and develop practical skills using those tools
  • Identify possible problems that may occur based on their course design and plan solutions

Format and Time Commitment

The Online Course Design Institute  will consist of a mix of asynchronous and synchronous activities, with time built in for individual course planning and digital tool practice.  Participants will work through a series of Brightspace modules leading through a course design process. They will meet daily (typically for 60-90 minutes)  via Zoom in small cohorts for peer feedback on course plans. Participants should plan to spend  2- 3 hours daily to complete structured activities and individual work on their courses.

Eligibility and Application Process

The Online Course Design Institutes are open to all Vanderbilt faculty members with teaching responsibilities, as well as graduate students and postdocs who will be serving as instructors of record at Vanderbilt.

Check back here for more information about our upcoming institutes and to register.





Comments from Past Institutes

“Commit to spending the two weeks immersed in this. It is HUGELY beneficial. I learned tons about teaching online and tons about how to improve my teaching in any mode of delivery. I feel energized about teaching in a way that I have not felt in years.”

“The cohort meetings were great. I genuinely enjoyed meeting each day to go over ideas and ask questions, and honestly just build a rapport with classmates. It made me feel better about what I was doing and how I approach teaching in general.”

“My advice: approach the entire institute as an eager student! There’s so much to learn, and inhabiting the perspective of a student in an online course will reveal a lot about how you want to set up your own courses.”

“The OCDI made the process of converting an in person class to an online one more manageable and less overwhelming.”

“I can’t imagine going online and doing it well without this course!”

“You are not just learning about online teaching.  You need to learn how to teach in a whole new way.  Once you make the leap, you’ll feel more engaged in your teaching, your students will connect with you better, and you’ll help make Vanderbilt more competitive in this new playing field.”

“The OCDI will not only prepare you to teach online, but also improve your teaching overall… Make time to engage with the OCDI deeply not only to improve your own teaching, but also to contribute to a community of engaged teachers across the university.”